Disturbingly, workers from the healthcare and social assistance industry are being subjected to an escalating level of workplace-related violence. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), a staggering 8 per cent to 38 per cent of these dedicated professionals suffer physical violence at some point in their careers, with many more threatened or exposed to verbal aggression.1  

Unfortunately, we also witness this trend in Australian hospitals, where we have seen an increase in workplace violence against healthcare workers, with patients, residents, or visiting friends and family often identified as offenders2

With the advancements in the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), protecting healthcare staff is achievable. Purpose-built smart devices equipped with personal duress alarms can play a crucial role in a healthcare provider’s safety plan. These devices provide staff with reassurance that they can immediately call for assistance and security responders will quickly locate them in case of an emergency. 

What to look for in a mobile duress solution

When it comes to selecting a mobile duress solution, it is important to consider the benefits that come with integrating emergency communication and staff safety in a single device. Smart devices equipped with a personal duress button offer a simple and effective way to get immediate assistance, providing valuable peace of mind and allowing staff to focus on delivering the best possible care to patients. 

Some of the key attributes that healthcare providers should look for to fulfil their requirements include the following:  

  • Dedicated. The ability to initiate a staff duress alert inside and outside a hospital through a purpose-built smart device with a dedicated alarm button. 
  • Automatic. An automatically activated alarm if the device is not moving or lying flat (man down) for a pre-programmed period, or the user is detected as running. 
  • Smart. Automatic notifications to security responders while inside the hospital or notifications to police services if outside the hospital, without having to make a single phone call. 
  • Informative. Live streamed video and audio from the device are automatically triggered to let security responders listen in to the duress event and assess the situation remotely. 
  • Discreet. A smart device that activates a blank screen when the duress button is pressed, allowing for discreet help-seeking without alerting the aggressor, while keeping the user informed that assistance is on the way through low-intensity vibrations. 
  • Accurate. The ability to accurately locate the device both within and outside a hospital or building. 
  • Reliable. The ability to escalate the alarm if rejected by security responders, or if security responders do not acknowledge it. 
  • Hospital-grade. Rugged, shock, water-resistant design that is easy to clean and able to withstand hospital-grade disinfectants without losing form or functionality. 

Smart devices bring a new level of clinical functionality, making it easier for staff to communicate, collaborate and provide exceptional patient care. We understand the importance of staff safety and believe that it can be achieved through the right integrated solution. Our technology is designed with this in mind and is built to meet the needs of the healthcare industry. 

Contact us to request more information about how our technology can enable your staff to deliver better quality patient care while mitigating on-the-job risks.  

[1] https://www.who.int/activities/preventing-violence-against-health-workers
[2] WorkSafe Victoria, 2022, ‘WorkSafe Annual Report 2020-21’ Victoria State